The Progressive Liberal Party’s Leader Philip Davis was incensed when he received a call from the police as a courtesy on Wednesday 13 February that four people, all PLP supporters, were going to be charged in the courts that morning for money laundering and fraud. He decided that a gesture of defiance was necessary and pulled his whole team from the House and the Senate as a result.
The party is likely to return to the Parliament in time for the midyear budget presentation.
If Mr. Davis was incensed then you can imagine the supporters. In a quickly held press conference, the supporters heard the Leader of the party say that what had happened was simply a persecution not a prosecution. Mr. Davis had been working on these matters behind the scenes and knows that the evidence is absolutely nothing.
The police are complicit in political planning of these events. They knew that the arraignment was to take place on the 13th February, yet when they arrived at court with the suspects having been slave walked through the grounds of the court in front of the cameras, the crown was not ready with the dockets for the case. The matter had to be stood down for another day. Crowds of PLP supporters stood around the courts cheering the defendants.
They arrested the three people in Freeport and the one in Nassau at 8 a.m. on 13th February and kept them incarcerated without food for the entire day. The lady in Freeport was not allowed to dress properly, nor allowed to get her medication. These are the modern policing methods of The Bahamas. The idea is that the evidence does not need to mean anything. All that is required is what has already been done, to shame the individuals and connect them to the Progressive Liberal Party as corrupt. This is all a part of the narrative of the FNM about the PLP.
The day after the arrests took place, the photo we publish with the Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and Obie Roberts, son of the late Bradley Roberts, in Starbucks, showed up on social media. Mr. Roberts claimed that the Prime Minister said he had nothing to do with the arrests. Well tie us and loose the donkey.
Final point, one individual involved in these arrests is quite a lightning rod in Freeport. There is quite a lot of angry commentary about that individual, a divisive figure who sometimes does not have the judgement to know when it is appropriate to pull back and not be on the front line. We must be very careful to separate the principle here from the individual. This is not about the individuals but the principle of abuse of power in the administration of justice by the FNM.
The party itself and the supporters must be ever conscious of this and over the top sense of jubilation does not help the overall cause. This is a sober moment and should be treated as such.
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